12/07/2020, 14.54
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SIPRI: Arms sales grow by 8.5 per cent with China second only to the US

Military sales reached US$ 361 billion in 2019. Four Chinese companies are in the top 25, three in the top 10. The US accounts for 61 per cent of the market; China for 16 per cent. The modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army is driving China’s military industry. Russian production is decreasing whilst those from the Middle East is increasing.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Military sales by the arms industry’s 25 largest companies totalled US$ 361 billion in 2019, 8.5 per cent more than in 2018, this according to a new study released today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The top five positions are occupied by US defence giants. Together with seven other US companies they represent 61 per cent of global sales. Chinese companies follow with 16 per cent of the market.

Aviation Industry Corporation of China, China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, and China North Industries Group Corporation are ranked sixth, eighth and ninth position respectively; China South Industries Group Corporation is 24th.

Overall, revenues for the four companies increased by 4.8 per cent over 2019. According to SIPRI, the People’s Liberation Army’s vast modernisation programme is driving China’s armaments industry.

By contrast, a drop in military spending by Russia has caused Russian companies Almaz-Antey, United Shipbuilding and United Aircraft to lose orders.

For the first time, a Middle East company has become a top arms supplier in the world. Edge, based in the United Arab Emirates, occupies the 22nd position, and accounts for 1.3 per cent of total arms sales of the top 25 firms.

For senior SIPRI researcher Pieter Wezeman, the high demand for weapons from local governments and the will of the countries in Middle East to become independent from foreign manufacturers are favouring the growth of Middle Eastern companies.

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